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Town to replace 'crumbling' Main Street sewer

May 06, 2009
MEREDITH — Getting a handle on the infrastructure, the Water and Sewer Department will be working on a capital improvements plan, beginning with a sewer system evaluations survey to address a collapsing sewer pipe along Main Street.

Water and Sewer Department Superintendent Brian Carroll brought a draft matrix to selectmen, to show them how he intended to begin evaluating the wastewater collection system by streets. Development of this plan, Carroll said, would allow the town to prioritize water and sewer infrastructure improvements.

"When I came onboard in September of last year, I realized that there was no way to project out for capital improvements," said Carroll. "I worked with the Water System Committee group and we came up with a matrix of certain criteria. This is the approach we're going to take, and we're going to dovetail this with the Sewer Department."

Though Carroll's draft matrix wasn't yet complete, data that he and the town had collected showed whether Meredith pipes were attached to a water main, what their diameter is, and the year they were installed. The eldest known pipes in Meredith are from 1949.

"I am highly encouraged by the matrix," said Selectman Colette Worsman. "We have priorities based on concrete information."

Interim Town Manager John Edgar noted that town staff is currently investigating various software programs to better manage the data and information, to help improve the understanding of Meredith's infrastructure needs. This information can help some departments work jointly towards the same purpose, can aid the Capital Improvements Committee in its work, and help with the budgeting process, Edgar said.

"Down the road, we will be looking at more involved information systems, both for roads and for water and sewer systems," said Edgar. "The work will feed into more comprehensive formats, once we get into that. We're more at the spreadsheet stage."

One bit of information that the Water and Sewer Departments are looking to obtain quickly is the second phase of the Sewer System Evaluations Survey. The first phase of the project, completed in 2007, identified leaks that allowed infiltration and inflow to the wastewater collection system. The second phase, according to Carroll, will allow the town to prioritize maintenance and repairs to the system.

A pending issue that Carroll said the study would address is about 300 feet of collapsing sewer pipe on South Main Street, a section reaching from the intersection of Waukewan Road to the Humiston School. Carroll said the pipeline is "physically collapsing, and should be repaired by summer time."

KV Partners, a company that the town partnered with during water infrastructure improvements during the last few years, found a company that gave a tentative price. Carroll said that the price would fall within the remainder of the funds left over from the bundle project.

Carroll noted that the crumbling pipelines had been identified in the first phase of the SSES in 2008.

"At a minimum, replace structurally deficient sections of pipe in Main Street," wrote KV Partners in the 2008 report on the first phase of SSES. "Structurally deficient sections are located in the two pipe segments north of Waukewan Street. We understand that the Town is contemplating infrastructure improvements to the Main Street corridor in the downtown area. Pipe replacements should be considered as part of any infrastructure plan for Main Street, however, because of the degree of deterioration, deficient sections should be replaced as soon as possible."

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